The Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine is Launching a Family Education Program on June 8, 2019 1

Family Therapy Program Richmond VA to start at VCAM on June 8, 2019

Beginning on Saturday, June 8, 2019, Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine (VCAM) is presenting a monthly, one-day, educational Family Program for concerned family members throughout the community. If you are concerned that someone you love has a substance use issue, would like continued education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the family, or just need support as you navigate through the recovery process, please join us for a day of lectures and activities presented by some of the top doctors, clinicians and experts in the Richmond area. Dr. James Thompson, CEO and co-founder of VCAM and a Richmond Top Doc for three years running, will be presenting a lecture on the neurobiology of the disease of addiction.

Dr. Thompson is leading the industry with his compassionate, caring team by providing affordable, comprehensive outpatient care to those experiencing addiction and alcoholism in our community and beyond. He co-founded VCAM with a vision, to create an outpatient treatment center that combines the standard tools of addiction medicine – ambulatory detox and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) – with psychiatry, counseling, and recovery coaching, to make individualized treatment plans that encompass the specific recovery needs of his patients.  That vision continues to develop with the addition of the Family Program which will be available to not only patients’ families, but to the community at large.

Dr. Thompson’s partner and co-founder at VCAM, Dr. Sherman Master, a nationally respected pioneer in the field of Addiction Psychiatry with forty plus years of experience helping patients and their families recover from addiction, will present a lecture entitled “Alcohol Use Disorder.” Dr. Master has also been Richmond’s Top Doc for three years running. Frank Watkins, Jr., MS LPC, Clinical Director at VCAM, will present a lecture on the therapeutic concepts of “codependency” and “boundaries”, two critical issues that must be understood when trying to restore healthy relationships to a family affected by addiction.  

Let’s Reduce the Stigma

To those study it, the truth is plain to see – addiction is not a moral failing but a devastating disease of the mind that can be treated and healed.  Nevertheless, there is still so much isolation, shame and stigma attached to substance abuse for addicted patients and their families that it is difficult for many to seek the help they so desperately need. One of the ways we fight against stigma is by educating families throughout our community on the reality and nature of the disease and giving them the means to counteract it.  

Families are often surprised to learn that things they did out of love and concern for a family member struggling with addiction were sometimes not helpful.  The keys to turning things around are knowledge and informed compassion. Our goal in this effort is to equip families with the knowledge and resources they need to grow and heal and by doing so, help us reduce the deadly effects of stigma in our community.  Addiction is “a family disease” and family members are profoundly affected when a loved one suffers. We hope that our program will help family members to recognize the many ways their lives have been impacted by the illness of their loved one. More importantly, we hope they’ll be introduced to the kind of understanding, practices and treatments that are needed to begin their own journeys of recovery.

Guest Speakers

Dr. Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery at the VCU School of Dentistry, is a renowned and captivating speaker on the very real and personal toll wrought by the opioid epidemic that continues to make local and national headlines.  In 2014, Dr. Abubaker lost his son, Adam, to the disease of addiction and devotes much of his time sharing his personal message in hopes of sparing others the pain which he endured, in addition to educating the medical community about the risks associated with overprescribing narcotics. He shares a powerful message for families, and a wealth of knowledge on the stigma that surrounds the disease.  

Dusty O’Quinn, head of the subcommittee on Family Programs and who serves on the Board of Directors for the McShin Foundation, a Peer Recovery Organization here in Richmond, will be speaking on her personal journey through recovery. Dusty has been long involved in the recovery community in Richmond. Growing up in an active alcoholic household, her mother took she and her siblings to Alateen in the early 70’s. When her father found sobriety, they were all involved in a 12- step program. They spoke about the family disease of addiction at conventions and treatment centers through her teen years. Her father celebrated 45 years sober last December. Dusty came back to the recovery community 12 years ago as loved ones began struggling with the same disease that her father suffered from. Her involvement in the 12 step groups has offered a lifeline as the disease unfolded around her again.

To register for this educational seminar, plus future ones, please visit:

Media Contact
Company Name: The Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine
Contact Person: Dr. James Thompson
Email: Send Email
Phone: 804-332-5950
Address:2301 Parham Road, Suite 4
City: Richmond
State: Virginia
Country: United States